What’s Wrong Wednesday: Congress Makes Progress In Destroying The Americans With Disabilities Act

Congress took significant steps in its efforts to destroy the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620), sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), if passed, would completely undermine the intent of the ADA and significantly harm the rights of people with disabilities.  The House Judiciary Committee voted the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620) out of committee. The final vote was 15 to 9 along party line.  The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 will now move to a full House floor for a vote.

If HR 620 is passed, a person with a disability would be obligated to provide written notice to a business owner who has violated the ADA. The business owner would then have 60 days to even acknowledge that there is a problem and another 120 days to make progress toward correcting the violation. In other words, people with disabilities will have to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights.

“More than 27 years after the passage of the ADA, the committee’s vote was not an attempt to reform or educate on the ADA, but a blatant attempt by Congress to say that it is ok to discriminate against people with disabilities by not making public accommodations accessible.”

H.R. 620 was not written in consultation with representatives of the disability rights community and it would create barriers to the civil rights for persons with disabilities that do not exist in other civil rights laws.


[image description: Red white and blue words spelling out Disability Rights Are Civil Rights, on a black background]

Red white and blue words spelling out Disability Rights Are Civil Rights, on a black background